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Coronavirus guidance, access to Covid tests, what to do if you or someone you know has symptoms

Coronavirus guidance

On 19 July England moved to Step 4 of the roadmap. This means that previous restrictions are no longer in place. However, cases are rising and it is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19 if you are fully vaccinated, so it is still important to stay cautious and help protect yourself and others. It is advised (but not legally enforced) to:

  • Limit the close contact you have with those you do not live with, and increase close contact gradually
  • Meet up outside or if you are indoors then open windows and doors if you have visitors
  • Take a test when you have symptoms and isolate if you test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
  • Follow the international travel rules, quarantining if you arrive from a red list country, and quarantining if you are not fully vaccinated and arrive from an amber list country.
  • Wear face coverings in crowded places to help protect others. Transport for London and some shops and venues have already stated that it is a requirement for people to still wear masks.
  • Check-in with the NHS COVID-19 app when you are out or provide your name and telephone number to the venue if you do not have the app.
  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap
  • Get vaccinated if you are 18 or over.

Clinically extremely vulnerable people

Shielding advice was paused on 1 April 2021. As restrictions have been eased following the move to Step 4 of the roadmap, clinically extremely vulnerable people are advised to follow the same guidelines as everyone else. However, you may still wish to think carefully about additional precautions you can take such as:

  • Getting your first and second doses of the Covid-19 vaccination, and a booster if and when you are offered it
  • Thinking carefully about taking precautions when meeting people you do not usually meet with e.g. meeting outside, making sure the space you are in is well ventilated, considering whether you and those you meet with are vaccinated
  • Washing your hands regularly
  • Continuing to practice social distancing if you feel it is right for you
  • Asking friends and family to take lateral flow tests before visiting you
  • Ensuring your employer has explained measures they will take to keep you safe at work
  • Wearing a face covering in crowded places

Free Covid-19 tests

Free Covid-19 test if you have symptoms

If you have symptoms of Covid-19, you can arrange to have a PCR test to see if you have Covid-19. The test is available on the NHS free of charge. Alternatively, you can book by phoning NHS 119. You will be given an option to book an appointment at a local test site or request a home test kit that will be posted to you.  Read the government guidance on the NHS test and trace service, and what to do if you test positive.

In Camden, there are two test sites:

  • 51 Greenwood Place, NW5 1LB (outdoors, step-free access). Enter from the O2 Forum end of Greenwood Place and it will be in front of you. If you drive, you'll find it on the second corner you reach. The test site is not at the Greenwood Centre so please do not enter that building). Book online: gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
  • Kingsgate Community Centre, 107 Kingsgate Rd, West Hampstead, London NW6 2JH (indoors, step-free access) - no booking require

Further details about test sites in Camden and drive-through test sites in London are available on the Council website.

If you have any concerns about booking a test via the NHS route, phone Camden Council on 020 7974 4444 (option 9) and we will help you. 

Tests sent to your home

You can also order free Lateral Flow Tests which will be sent to your home. These will be available to everyone in England who doesn't have symptoms. Details about accessing the tests are available here.

Covid-19 symptoms and self-isolating

The most common symptoms of Covid-19 are any of the following:

  1. a new continuous cough
  2. a high temperature
  3. a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell.

If you, or someone you live with shows any of the above symptoms it is important that everyone in the household follows self-isolation guidance and stays at home.

If you have symptoms of Covid-19 you must self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. During this period you must:

  • not go to work
  • not go to school
  • not go to public areas
  • not use public transport or taxis.

In summary:

  • If you show symptoms you must stay at home for 10 days from when the symptoms started, and arrange to have a test to see if you have Covid-19.  After 10 days, if you do not have a high temperature, you do not have to continue to self-isolate. If after 10 days you still have a temperature you must continue to self-isolate and seek medical advice. If you do not have internet access, phone 111 for NHS advice, or phone 999 in a medical emergency.
  • If someone you live with shows symptoms you must stay at home for 14 days and the person showing symptoms needs to get tested for Covid-19.  Your 14 days start from the first day that the person in the household became ill. If during your 14 days you display symptoms, then you must stay at home for at least another 10 days from when your symptoms appear.

Further guidance for households with possible or confirmed Covid-19 infection is available

Long Covid If you are suffering long term effects after having coronavirus there is help and advice available:

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